CHICAGO — Barry Callebaut has opened a new North American head office in Chicago.

"Barry Callebaut is committed to becoming the No. 1 industrial chocolate manufacturer in the United States," said Massimo Garavaglia, president of food manufacturers and gourmet and specialties for North America. "As part of that commitment, we’re excited to be putting down roots in Chicago, which is centrally located and will give us even greater access to our customers throughout the country."

Mr. Garavaglia said the company is looking for ways to drive long-term growth and to grow twice as fast as the global chocolate market. To this end, the company recently announced a supply and innovation partnership with The Hershey Co., and Barry Callebaut is focusing on research and development activities to provide new chocolate products for industrial and gourmet customers in North America.

The company has five chocolate and cocoa factories in North America and will be opening a new factory in Monterrey, Mexico, in 2008.

The company also has named senior management for the North American region in coordination with the opening of the Chicago office. This includes Mr. Garavaglia, who will oversee operations, sales and marketing in North America; James G. Hagedorn as chief financial officer for North America; Johannes C.E. Thys, vice-president of operations and supply chain for North America; and Eric Martinet, vice-president of gourmet and specialties in North America.